PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, help me give everyone a chance, and let you decide whether they're "weeds" or "wheat!" Amen.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a farmer who planted wheat in his fields," Jesus taught. "When his workers founds weeds growing in the wheat, the farmer said, 'If you pull them up now, you might pull the wheat up with them. Wait until harvest time, and then you can pull everything up and throw the weeds away.'"
Dandelions are yellow flowers that grow wild everywhere, popping up in unmowed lawns, in fields and on roadsides. Many people think of them as weeds -- but kids tend to look at the bright flowers and see the color of sunshine!
You've probably picked dandelions because they looked so pretty. You might even wonder why other people don't give dandelions a chance. They sure don't look like yucky weeds!
This week's Gospel (Matthew 13:24-43) could be about dandelions. It's about giving everyone a chance to grow.
In the Gospel story, Jesus talks about a farmer with a field full of weeds. The weeds are growing among his wheat crops, the good plants that give grain to make everything from bread to breakfast cereal.
The farmworkers want to pull up the weeds, but the farmer worries about pulling up the roots of the good plants in the process. He says to leave the weeds alone until it's time to harvest everything; then it will be OK to pull all of it up and toss the weeds.
If you're a fan of dandelions, you might say the same thing: Let them grow! Who cares if they look like weeds? Their flowers are cheerful, and when they dry up, they turn into puffballs you can blow on to watch the seeds float away.
People deserve a chance, too. The Gospel story was about letting everyone grow together. When it's time to go to heaven, the "weeds" will be separated from the "wheat;" God will know who's good and who's not.
In the meantime, everyone gets a chance. Even a dandelion is a weed to some people, a gorgeous flower to others!